Sunday, September 29, 2013


I posted a gorgeous Adams coffee pot on the Transferware Collectors Club Facebook page, and it received a lot of positive response.  Perhaps the bright red transfer or the charming pattern, The Pet, initiated the 500 plus likes.  Or, it may be that people are interested in 19th century transfer printed coffee pots.  I went through the more than 47, 000  images on my hard disk, and found some photos of coffee pots to share.  All are from the first half of the 19th century.

William Adams IV & Sons (1829-1861) Coffee Pot (11 in.), ca. 1835

Probably William Adams IV & Sons Coffee Pot (11 in.), ca. 1835.  Rebecca at the Well?

Salopian (underglaze painted polychrome) Coffee Pot known as Cow Polisher (10 in.), ca. 1810-1820

19th century British Coffee Pot (10.5 in.), ca. 1825

19th Century British Coffee Pot (9.5 in.), ca. 1825

19th Century British Coffee Pot/Notice the very high bridge (10 in.), ca. 1825

19th Century British Coffee Pot (10.5 in.) ca. 1825/Who is the man in the portrait?
I photographed some of the coffee pots above on my dresser to show how interesting they look as a group.  I also added a photo of coffee pots on a friend's dresser (Dora).  In particular, notice the black printed coffee pot with pink luster (not common).

Coffee Pots on my dresser

Coffee Pots on Dora's dresser

Wednesday, September 25, 2013


According to The Dictionary of Blue and White Printed Pottery 1780 - 1880 by Coysh and Henrywood, "Blue printed egg cups can be found in two shapes, the usual modern cup with a pedestal foot and an earlier design which is ring-shaped that can be used either way up.  Egg stands may be found in circular or oval form to hold four or six eggs and usually formed the centre section of supper sets or breakfast sets."   Below is a Spode Rome (also known as Tiber) pattern egg stand and egg cups. 
Spode Rome pattern egg stand and eggs cups

Spode Rome pattern egg stand and egg cups

Spode Rome pattern egg cups/border only

Spode Rome pattern egg stand bottom/notice mark

Spode Rome pattern egg stand

Saturday, September 21, 2013


I was intrigued by the peacock in the Chinoiserie setting, but the turkey seemed out of place.  A turkey is not an elegant fowl.  I did a bit of research and discovered that the pattern is part of a series know as the "Ornithological Series."  It was made by at least three manufacturers; possibly Minton and Hicks & Meigh but definitely Andrew Stevenson (see mark below).  I found source prints for the peacock and turkey in Thomas Bewick's  A History of British Birds: Volume 1, 1797.

Andrew Stevenson (1810-1827) Ornithological Series Peacock and Turkey, 10 inch plate

Andrew Stevenson impressed mark
Maker Unknown, Ornithological Series Peacock and Turkey 10" plate
Below are the source prints from Bewick.
Peacock from Thomas Bewick's A History of British Birds: Vol. I, 1797

Turkey from A History of British Birds: Vol. I, 1797

One of my favorite childhood games was "Find the Hidden Picture." I became rather good at it.  Although I am quite rusty, I did notice that some of the other birds in the source prints above were used in other patterns.  For example,  the peacock with the rounded open tail (seen on the bottom left of the Peacock print) is located on the platter below and the turkey with the open tail (seen on the right of the Turkey print)  is found on the Don Pottery plate at the bottom.  I guess if you are pirating source prints you make the most of them!

Unknown Maker Ornithological Series Peacocks 20.5 inch platter

Don Pottery (1801-1839) Turkey 6.5 inch plate

Tuesday, September 17, 2013


I have always loved patterns that feature animals.  Some of my favorites were made for children.  One series of children's plates by the ubiquitous (I have said this before) unknown maker shows sweet faced animals surrounded by a molded floral border painted in blue and red (sometimes other colors).  Children's patterns were often intended to instruct or delight.  These patterns do both.  Except, perhaps, the misspelling of the word "kangaroo!"  See below.
"Tiger" Child's Plate,  5.75 inches/If the pattern looks familiar, I used it to represent the letter "T" in my book,  Dishy Animals ABC.

"Lion" Child's Plate, 5.75 inches

"Leopard" Child's Plate, 5.75 inches

"Zebra" Child's Plate,  5.75 inches

"Kanguroo" Child's Plate, 5.75 inches/ 5.75 inches/If the pattern looks familiar, I used it to represent the letter "K" in my book,  Dishy Animals ABC.

Friday, September 13, 2013


Spode (1770-1833) 7 inch Love Chase pattern plate/printed underglaze in blue and painted over the glaze in iron red, ca. 1810
The Love Chase is the story of Atalanta and Hippomenes.  It actually starts with Atalanta's father who leaves the infant Atalanta in the forest because she isn't a boy. Atalanta is suckled by a bear and raised by hunters.  Suspend disbelief here.  A favorite of the goddess Artemis (Diana, virgin goddess of the hunt), Atalanta swears to defend her own virginity.  Unfortunately, she reunites with her father who insists that she marry!  Atalanta agrees but has conditions.  She proposes a foot race.  If she wins, her suitor is killed, but if the suitor wins, she will marry him.  Surprisingly (at least by 21st century sensibilities), Atalanta has lots of suitors, and not surprisingly there are lots of deaths.  I neglected to mention that Atalanta was a superb runner.  The best.  Our hero Hippomenes (also known as Milanion) knows he cannot win a fair race, so enlists the help of Aphrodite (Venus, the goddess of love).  Aphrodite gives Hippomenes three golden apples.  At first Atalanta is way ahead of Hippomenes, but he throws one of the golden apples in front of her.  She stops to pick it up and Hippomenes passes her.  He needs to use all of the golden apples to win the race.  It doesn't seem quite fair (is love ever fair) that Atalanta is tricked, on the other hand, no one wants to lose (or be killed).  Hippomenes wins the race.  Atalanta and Hippomenes marry, but all is not well.  Myths, like life, are never fairy tales.  Aphrodite wasn't satisfied with Hippomenes gratitude, so she curses him (and Atalanta).  Skipping the details, the two are transformed into lions ( I am not sure this is such a bad thing).  Worse would be the curse of Sisyphus (look it up).  I digress.

The whole myth is a preamble to showing you one of my favorite patterns,  the "Love Chase."  It was made by Spode as early as 1810, and was continued periodically by Copeland and Spode in the 19th and 20th centuries.  The pattern strays a bit from the story above.  Cupid, Aphrodite's son, is very prominent on the plate.  His bow, arrows, and other love accoutrements are in the center.  Images of Cupid are located throughout the pattern.  There are only two vignettes that actually depict the race.  Hippomenes runs behind Atalanta on the right and Atalanta is shown picking up an apple on the left.  The bottom photo shows Hippomenes and Atalanta as a loving couple with Cupid trailing behind them.  I am not sure what is going on in the last vignette (any help will be appreciated).

Love Chase detail/Hippomenes and Atalanta during the race (the orange color is from my flash, the color of the plate is as above).

Love Chase Detail

While searching the Internet, I found a lovely painting that could have been the inspiration for Hippomenes throwing the apples.

Atalanta and Hippomenes by Guido Reno, 1622-1625/The painting is in the Museo Nazionale di Capodimonte in Naples

When I was a child I loved Greek Mythology.  The gods and goddesses were powerful, but most of the mortals were heroes.  I used to imagine that I would be as clever and strong as a hero. Today, I find the stories quite dark.  No matter what you do, the results of your choices are not in your control.

Monday, September 9, 2013


My friend and neighbor, Herb, gave me a basket of luscious tomatoes from his garden.  They looked like works of art, but tasted even better.  Before they disappeared, I thought I'd photograph them.  In a transferware bowl, of course.  All of my bowls were too big, so I decided to use my pickle dishes (the tomatoes were quite small).  A pickle dish was intended to be used for anything pickled.  I begged their forgiveness as the tomatoes were totally fresh.

Summer Tomatoes in 19th Century Pickle Dishes
The tomatoes are: Big green and yellow is Green Zebra, Big red is Arkansas Traveler,
Small gold is Grafted Sun Gold,
Small red is Sweet Baby Girl 
Pickle dishes come in many sizes and shapes as you can see in the photos below.  They are usually fairly small (4 - 6.5 inches). The above pickle dishes are: right, 5.75" by 4.75" and left, 5.25" by 4.75"

Fish-shaped pickle dish/Lakeside Meeting probably by James Keeling (1790-1832), 5.75" by 4.75", ca. 1820

Handled pickle dish/Rose pattern, 5.25" by 4.75", ca. 1825

Diamond-shaped pickle dish, 4.5" by 3.75"/Probably a segment from a pickle set, ca. 1825

Leaf-shaped pickle dish/Village Church pattern, ca. 1825

Leaf-shaped pickle dish, 6 inches/Enoch Wood & Sons (1818-1846) Sporting Series Setter, ca. 1825

Shell-shaped pickle dish/Beemaster Pattern, ca. 1820

Pickle dishes also came as a set with a tray. This pickle set is printed with birds from the Ornithological Series, ca. 1820.  The series was made by more than one factory, and the one below is not marked.
Ornithological Series Pickle Set, ca. 1820

Segments of the Ornithological Series Pickle Set

Tray of the Ornithological Series Pickle Set

If you want more information about pickle dishes, I suggest reading "Pickle Dishes & Milsey's: A social and historical commentary" by Richard Halliday;

Pickle Dishes & Milseys by Richard Halliday, 2011

Thursday, September 5, 2013


In conjunction with the new school year,  I am showing some patterns that were used to teach the alphabet.  Children's patterns were often intended to teach as well as delight. 

My favorite is a 4.5 inch plate that is printed with a lower case alphabet that is out of order. The child needed to pick the letters out and put them in sequence. This is not easy, but it is an excellent teaching tool. 
Lower case alphabet 4.5 inch plate, ca. 1820
Below are two mugs that illustrate the alphabet.   The first is printed in black and colored over the glaze in yellow.  The second is what is know as yellow printed brownware.  It is made with a yellow transfer over the glaze on a brown body. 
Nineteenth century transfer printed 2.18 inch alphabet mug

Nineteenth century yellow printed brownware alphabet mug

Sunday, September 1, 2013


Labor Day in the United States is observed on the first Monday of September.  When I was a schoolgirl, it signaled the end of the summer holidays and the beginning of the school year.  It was nationally recognized as a holiday in 1894 to honor the economic and social contributions of workers. 

The message on this child's plate summarizes all I wish for you and yours on Labor Day (actually any day of the year).  Hard work in and out of the home (and at school) hopefully will result in "Peace and Plenty."  Perhaps I should have saved this pattern for Thanksgiving, but couldn't wait.

"Peace And Plenty" a mid 19th century child's plate

Close-up of "Peace And Plenty"

I first saw a plate with this pattern in 1995 at my friend Dora's house.   It reminds me of the simplicity of happiness.  What is better than that!